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tv   BBC World News  BBC America  February 11, 2015 9:00am-10:01am EST

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hello. "bbc world news america" "bbc world news." our top stories. russia confirms it will attend peace talks in minsk today. the leader of a belgian group accused of radicalizing dozens of men in syria sentenced to 12 years in prison. nbc's brian williams is suspended for fabricating a story. jon stewart announces he's leaving the daily show. a malaysian cartoonist faces extradition charges just weeks
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before after he tells bbc he's feared he will be arrested. a warm welcome to the program. a glimmer of hope. the words of angel merkel spokesman on top level talks on ukraine to take place soon between russia france ukraine and germany. there is little common ground it seems? . what are the different sides pushing for? ukraine would like control over the break away regions in the east. wants to see rebel force disarmed and russian troops pulled back. and wanting to keep their weapons and amnesty for their leaders. russia wants guaranteed rights
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for russian speaksers and full autonomy for the luhansk and donetsk region. the u.s. wants to see territorial zone redrawn. >> the president of ukraine went to the town that had come under rocket far. >> this is a severe incident almost 50 kilometers from the front fighting and the russian and terrorists attacking civilians, attacks peaceful city of cramkramatorsk. >> the president of ukraine. >> and to richard in those talks. it looks like all players will
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be attending but all sides still far apart. >> reporter: absolutely. they're a very big big hurdle to overcome in this summit we expect will take place -- we're actually outside one of the presidential palaces here in minsk where the summit is due to take place. officials saying the media will be able to go in in a couple of hours time. we think that the talking will actually get under way at around about 3:00 gmt. so in a few hours from now. it is looking for optimistic the very fact all these leaders are due to come. yes, massive obstacles to overcome if there is to be a cease-fire agreement. >> there was one before also brokered in minsk back in september. that didn't last very long at all, did it? >> reporter: not at all, right. there was, as you say, an agreement signed on the 5th of september, which was supposed to bring in cease-fire with the two
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sides being separated, the heavy weapons being pulled back. but it simply did not happen. the violence continued and in the months since got worse and worse until it came to the point where angela merkel and france soyfrance -- francois hollande came to talk peace again with all the sides. the question is whether they can overcome those difficulties. the fact looks like they are coming and there were these talks with the lower level represents overnight, this contact group may suggest there are some compromises. there will have to be some very big compromises to be made. >> richard, many thanks for the moment. our correspondent at those talks in minsk. our correspondent in kiev david stern, is explaining what ukraine wants from the
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negotiations. >> reporter: ukraine, as you said earlier, james, is looking for control over the regions, to maintain ukraine basically as an intact and viable country. this seems, at least as far as ukrainians are concerned seems very much in question. the president, when he traveled to cram kramatorsk is looking for closing of troops and all russian and foreign troops from the territory. whether he gets that and whether they agree on that as richard was pointing out, that is another question. as we have seen before the previous agreement said something along similar lines was not implemented. there's plenty more in ukraine on our website including a breakdown what the different parties want on the crisis talks. go to our websitebbcnews.com website for a breakdown and analysis.
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forward /news. >> while trying to cross the mediterranean, there was a crash and the u.s. has been interviewing survivesors picked up by the coast guard and said scores were swept in heavy seas while setting sail. and we will talk to a reporter on the island and speaking to some of the men who survived. fredericka, many thanks for joining us on "bbc world news." what have they been telling you exactly? >> reporter: yes. good morning. this morning at 8:00 a.m. the coast guard rescued nine survivors from two rubber dinghies. unfortunately the number of dead and lost at sea is getting higher. you know that, of course, 29 people died of hypothermia on
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monday. those survivors are nine in total. two were passengers of a rubber dinghy with 105 people on board. the other seven were on board with 107 on board. that makes 203 people lost at sea. that's bad news but not confirmed yet, based on the report of survivors there was a fourth boat that left libya on saturday together with the others which is completely disappeared in the mediterranean. >> right. so those numbers could go up even though you said it's already 200 missing. is there any hope of finding -- a mission under way to find them or are they assumed lost at sea? >> reporter: yes. the coast guard and italian
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authorities are at the sea. but yesterday the weather conditions were really really rough. i would like to thank the italian coast guard for the rescue operation. it was done under very hard circumstances. there is no trace of the first boat but i guess they're continuing to search. >> frederico, many thanks of the unhcr, based on the italian island island of lampedusa. a group calling it south florida sharia fightingsending jihadist fighters to syria and given to 3 to 12 years in prison one of the largest terror trials ever in europe. our correspondent has been telling me about the sentence handed down to the group's leader. >> reporter: the leader of share
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sharia sharia, this islamist group that wanted to establish sharia law in the country, he has been sentenced to 12 years in prison. he was asked to stand as the verdict was read out. he smiled at one stage looking to his lawyer as the judge was speaking. he has been sentenced. he in court was accused of recruiting and radicalizing seeking out these young men, dozens of them and then sending them to syria, to fight with group s groups so-called islamic state and so on. some are believed to be out there still fighting. some of those who have been on trial in this case some of the defendants have returned from syria. they are returnees and some are still supporters and argued in court he wasn't the reason why they traveled to syria and went there on their own accord. other individuals on trial,
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namely one 19-year-old, he always said that he had been radicalized by the organization. his evidence had been key in this trial to the prosecutors. it was described to me by one of the lawyers that his evidence stitched together the deficit parts of the prosecution's argument, which had up until that point relied mostly on wiretap evidence and evidence from social networks they gathered within syria and bell belgium. >> duncan crawford. the american comedian jon stewart has announced he will step down from the legendary program "the daily show." he took over as host in 1999. since then the program has won numerous awards for its satirical take on society and politics. its freewheeling humor became an source of news and analysis for viewers. he didn't say what he would do next but used his typical humor to announce his decision.
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to his audience he said i will have dinner on a school night with my family and heard from multiple sources are lovely people. as jon stewart leaves the screen at its peak another has been taken off air for six months without pay, brian williams after he fabricated an account of the incident of the iraq war. he exaggerated the story of how a helicopter was hit by a grenade. last week he admitted he was on a different helicopter. jon stewart said finally someone has been held accountable for misleading america about the iraq war. in deciding to suspend williams nbc universal said his actions are inexcusable and the suspension is appropriate. i know brian loves his country, nbc news and his colleagues. he deserves a second chance.
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we are rooting for him, the statement went. stay with us on "bbc world news." still with us this hour. it is a long way from home. joining the sun vision contest. grab a refreshing canada dry ginger ale. real ginger. real taste. real ahhh
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with nothing but salty roasted peanuts on soft sweet caramel. a payday bar will get you through your day. expose yourself to payday. you're watching "bbc world news." i'm james menendez. our headlines so far. more fighting in ukraine as the president confirms he will attend peace talks with the leaders of ukraine and germany. more than 200 migrants hatch died in the last few days while trying to cross the mediterranean. time for a look at business news here. aaron is here. >> sorry for my sneak appearance. can we go back to the story of the univision? >> really? >> did we tell people if they win they have to pay for it?
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we're going to start with looking at weather. you see it as a mexican standoff or a game of russian roulette. grief is ready to play hardball with its creditors with european finance ministers. they meet in brussels. after winning a confidence vote for europe's bailout package, the prime minister announced we are not negotiating a bailout. it was actually canceled by its own failure. with germany not willing to negotiate either. it seems today's meeting will be a showdown of stubbornness. greece could be a backup option. russian says he would consider any assistance and china could also help them. a lot more coming up on gmt in just over an hour's time. look at the consequences basically of this brinksmanship going on in greece. well we're being told it could do the school run or take the shopping without the need for any to control it.
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up to now the driverless car has seemed a reality. that could change because as of today driverless cars can be freely tested on public roads in the uk. it puts britain alongside only four states in the u.s. to allow autonomous cars on the road without special permits. currently, we know the likes of sweden and germany have stripped gi graphical locations where the cars can be tested. the uk hopes its light touch can make it a global leader in driverless development. we will talk about that. lots going on. talking about china on gmt. talk to me and tweet me and i'll tweet you back and that's it for me until just an hour's time. >> thank you. malaysian police have arrested a prominent political cartoonist after the criticized the country's top court. he was arrested after tweeting
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tweets on sodomy and shows the judge in anwar's case while speaking in london two weeks ago he told the bbc his office had already been raided and he faced arrest on his return. >> the where it was under -- it was three. because i was not there, so they confiscate all my books. 135 of my books. the police told the person in this office that they would investigate me when i return to malaysia. that's what happened. >> arrested but not yet charged as our correspondent, jennifer has been telling me. >> reporter: not yet. he's in police custody the next
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three days. at that point he may or may not be charged for sedition. he is being investigated for a series of messages he posted on twitter. one of them was a drawing of the prime minister as the judge in the opposition leader sodomy trial. he's holding a hammer with the worlds political cension written on it and aiming it over the opposition leader. as you heard, he has other controversial cartoons the government is not happy with. in addition to his arrest there are other -- two other opposition party members also being investigated under the sedition act for criticizesing the ruling and human rights watch group has said that the government has turned any criticism of them into a criminal act and this comes, of course, as the government is facing a lot of scrutiny both domestically and abroad for this
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sodomy trial. >> fill in a little bit of the background. this was the opposition leader who lost his appeal. how is that playing in the country? are there many like him who say this is all about politics? is there much outrage? mrk >> reporter: well anwar is the opposition leader and widely seen as the only person capable of the government and their biggest threat and this trial is the second one he has faced over the last 16 years and widely seen as politically motivated. the malaysian government came out with a statement they had nothing to do with this case this was very much a dispute between mr. anwar and his former employee. but many people don't believe this because although sodomy is illegal even if it is consensual. very few people are ever charged or prosecuted for it and mr.
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anwar has faced two of these trials and that's why they believe these trials are designed to get mr. anwar out from politics. this verdict means he will not be able to run in the next election. so effectively malaysia's opposition power is in doubt. >> jennifer in kuala lumpur. the lone man in the trial at the center of therial will see if he will be convicted of charges of the 2012 sinks. 32 people died when it sailed too close to an island and hit rocks. the costa concordia left its planned route for a sail by in 2012. the captain did spot the rock but it was too late. the turn ripped a gaping hole in this stern of the ship. water flooded into the hole and the power quickly failed. prosecutors say it was only by
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luck the ship drifted back to the reef where it tipped violently on to its right side. the bbc's alan johnson has been following the trial. i spoke to him about how the proceedings are moving along. >> reporter: well this trial has gone on now for well over a year and a half. as i speak, it is at last in its final session. at the start of the day, the man at the center of it all, the captain, walked into court to follow events. we're expecting his lawyer to speak and then we're expecting the captain himself to take the stand one final time and make an appeal to the judges. everything, really is at stake for this man. the prosecution has accused him of multiple manslaughter and demanded he be given 26 years in jail. but the captain has always argued that he's been unfairly singled out for blame here. he says others must share the responsibility.
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for example, he says the helmsman, the sailor actually steering the ship as she approached the rocks was slow to carry out a crucial command. the captain says other senior officers around him on the bridge should have alerted him and should have spoken up about the coming danger but says they were just silent. we can expect the captain then to have those kinds of arguments when he takes the stand himself one last time soon now. >> how long will that process take? are we talking about hours here? could it tip over into tomorrow? >> reporter: italian justice always moves extraordinarily slowly. we had hoped we might have the verdict late last night. there is a lot of talk about the judges retiring to consider their verdict in this course of the afternoon. we could hear early this evening most likely but always possible it will spill over into tomorrow. >> alan johnston in central italy for us.
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it's been called the greatest party on the planet. we're talking about the european vision sun contest about to start tomorrow. australia is about to compete for the first time despite being almost 15,000 kilometers away from europe it's been given a wild card entry to the final in may in vienna. >> reporter: we should probably expect surprises from a contest that's been won by a bearded drag queen from austria and featured two russian sisters on a seesaw. >> this year for the very first time an us aaustralian artist will be competing in the grand finals. >> reporter: some are already speculating in social media, who might represent them and some asking does australia host next year if it wins? >> if it should happen we would find a european broadcaster we would partner with and hold it there. but, hey, that's further down the track. that is the possibility, yep, we
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could win. who knows? if that happens, we don't expect everybody to get on planes and come here. it is a long way. >> reporter: the song contest is a huge television event. each year about 180 million people tune in to watch. it's been going for 60 years. if you've watched every year you'll have seen more than 1,400 songs performed. participating countries normally have to be in the european broadcasting area. at 10,000 miles away australia falls a little outside that but has been allowed a one off entry. they may not have entered before but the aussie influence has certainly been felt. last year they performed in the interval and don't forget australian born olivia newton-john and another have represented britain and been in the contest. >> people say, why are you there and things like that. the european aspect went a long
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time ago. the enthusiasm an positivity that i've seen so far from all the australians, it's just been amazing. >> if you're throwing a eurovision party this year don't forget to leave room for the extra flag. "bbc news." >> you've been warned. lets update you on our main story this hour. angela merkel says the you ukraine talks offer a glimmer of hope but not much more. she left for the talks in minsk and belarus where she will join the leaders of minsk, russia and ukraine. ukraine and the european union will speak with one voice at the peace summit and also warned ukraine was preparing to introduce martial law in all of its regions if the crisis in the east was to escalate further. meanwhile on the ground fighting is continuing. in the past 24 hours, 19
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ukrainian soldiers were killed according to authorities defend defending a town while four civilians were killed by mortar fire and took place in the main rebel held city of donetsk. stay tuned for all the latest on ukraine ukraine. introducing york minis. a bite size way to enjoy the full size sensation of peppermint and rich dark chocolate. york minis get the sensation.
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m so glad we could be here for larry.
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james menendez with bbc world news our top stories. i made violence in ukraine, russia confirms it will attend peace talks in minsk today. survivors say at least 200 have died while trying to cross the mediterranean sea. the man accused of radicalizing dozens sending to syria is sent toenced to 12 years. and brian williams suspended for fabricating a story.
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jon stewart announcing he's live ing living "the daily show." a warm welcome to the program. a glimmer of hope but nothing more. the words of angela merkel's spokesman as she departed for top level talks on the conflict in ukraine. they're due to take place soon in minsk between the leaders of russia ukraine, france and germany. the fact it's taking place at all is remarkable. there seems to be little common ground. what are the different sides pushing for? ukraine would like control over the break away regions in the east. they want rebel force disarmed and want to see russian troops pulled back. rebels want donetsk and luhansk to keep their area and amnesty
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for leaders. and russians wants full autonomy of donetsk and luhansk regions and withdrawal of military from the combat zone. >> the eu and u.s. want to see russian troops withdrawn and see a demilitarized zone created. lets ta talk to james reynolds our correspondent who's in the biggest held city donetsk. looks like these talks are happening but the violence -- there seems to be an upsurge in violence. what's been going on? >> reporter: let me take you through two particular things. first of all, what happened here in donetsk, this morning we understand there was a shelling attack which hit a bus station killing a circle bus driver in donetsk. we also understand from another report several people were killed when a rocket or artillery struck a smelting works. outside donetsk, we know that the rebels are still trying to
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take that town of debaltseve a crucial railway town crucial between the rebel's northern part of the territory and southern part of the territory. that's a piece of territory, a town they really want to get. we understand around 19 ukrainian soldiers, the ones involved in fighting have been killed in the last 24 hours and gives you an indication of the intensity of conflict. >> you've been there the past few days. do you get a sense they are prepared to compromise and pull back as those in the west and ukrainian government want? >> reporter: i think what's clear is that when you speak to them, they say that they don't. when i spoke to one man, a commander the other day, he was a 28-year-old former builder from donetsk. he said the rebels haven't finished yet and want to take debaltseve and the rest of the
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region, and the territory they hold. don't forget they were in the flush of victory when they said that the other day. it may be they have to rely on something else that they rely on russia for diplomatic support and the have to count on what president putin thinks is a good solution and not just what they want. >> james, thanks for that. that was our correspondent for us. correspondent richard galpin is in minsk. >> reporter: there is a very very big hurdle to overcome in this summit we think will take place. we're actually outside one of the presidential palaces here in minsk minsk, where the summit is due to take place. officials saying the media will be able to go in in a couple of hours time. we think that the talking will actually get under way at around about 3:00 gmt. so in a few hours from now. it is looking more optimistic
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the very fact that all these leaders are due to come. but, yes massive obstacles to overcome if there is to be a cease-fire agreement. >> of course there was one before also brokered in minsk back in september. that didn't last very long at all, did it? >> reporter: not at all, that's right. there was, as you say, an agreement signed on the 5th of september, whey was supposed to bring in cease-fire with the two sides being separated, the heavy weapons being pulled back. but it simply did not happen. the violence continued and in the months since, has got worse and worse until it came to the point where angela merkel and francois hollande from france and germany went on a mission to persuade all the sides, this was last week to talk again. the question is whether they can overcome all those difficulties. the fact looks like they are
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coming and there were these talks with low level represent representatives overnight, this contact group may suggest there has to be compromises but there have to be very big compromises to be made. >> richard galpin in minsk. let's go toand talk about what the ukrainian president has been talking about in the past talking about martial law. >> reporter: exactly, james. mr. poroshenko is meeting with his top officials before leaving for minsk. he's prepared to put in martial law should these talks fall through. ukrainians are open to both options. he said we want peace and we're also prepared to defend our land to the last person. if we have to kick them in the teeth or give it to them in the teeth, we'll give it to them in the teeth. as you can hear he's striking a
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very defiant tone at the same time saying he's open for moeksz. it remain s tos to be seen what compromises he will be open if any. >> and rhetoric ahead of these talks, everyone is trying to talk tough at this stage? >> reporter: yes. i think there is a definite sense of posturing and also playing down expectations as we heard from the german leader there is a glimmer of hope. nobody wants to make this seem like it's going to succeed and have it fall through. the question is what will happen if it falls through. some people are saying this is the last chance. if it is the last chance there is indeed the very great risk as the french leader has said there could be total war in ukraine. obviously, a great deal of expectations regardless. also, a great sense of urgency. >> david, many thanks for that. david stern live for us in kiev. united nations refugee
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agency says more than 200 migrants are now thought to have drowned in the past few days while trying to cross the mediterranean. frederico is on the island of lampe lampe lampe lam lampedusa. >> reporter: this morning at 8:00 a.m., the coast guard rescued two survivors on a rubber dinghy. unfortunately, the number of people rescued at sea -- and 22 people died of hypothermia on monday and those survivors are nine in total. the two were passengers of a rubber dinghy with 105 people on board. the other seven were on board another boat with 107 people on board. that makes 203 people lost at
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sea today. the bad news -- but this is not confirmed yet, based on the report of the survivors, there was a fourth boat that left libya on saturday together with the others and which is completely disappeared in the mediterranean. >> right. so those numbers could go up even though as you say, it's already 200 thought are missing. is there any hope of finding the mission under way or are they assumed lost at sea? >> reporter: yes. the coast guard and italian authorities are parcelling the sea, but unfortunately up to yesterday, the weather conditions were really really rough. i would like to thank the italian coast guard for the rescue operation because it was done under very hard circumstance circumstances. and they're parcelling the area. there is no trace of the first boat but i guess they're continuing the search.
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>> the court in belgium has ruled a group calling it south florida sharia for belgium -- calling itself sharia for belgium and many have been found guilty and given prison terms of 3 to 12 years, one of the largest terrorist sentenced. and the leader has fled. >> reporter: the leader of sharia for belgium, this islamist group that wanted to establish sharia law in the country has been sentenced to 12 years in prison. he was asked to stand as the verdict was read out, yet he smiled at one stage looking to his lawyer as the judge was speaking. he has been sentenced. he in court was accused of recruiting radicalizing seeking out these young men, dozens of them and then sending them to syria to fight with group groups
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groups of so-called islamic states and so on. some like i say, are believed to be out there still fighting. some of those who have been on trial in this case some of the defendants have returned from syria. they are returnees and some of them they were still supporters and argued in court he wasn't the reason why they traveled to syria, they went there on their own accord but other individuals who were on trial, namely one in particular a 19-year-old from antwerp, he always said that he had been radicalized by the organization. his evidence had been key in this trial to the prosecutors. it was described to me by one of the lawyers that his evidence stitched together the different parts of the prosecution's argument which had up until that point relied mostly on wiretap evidence and evidence from social networks gathered from syria and within belgium. >> in antwerp. do stay with us on "bbc
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world news." still to come this hour. american tv is to lose two of its most familiar faces as nbc's brian williams is suspended for fabricating a story and jon stewart announces he is leaving "the daily show." what makes it an suv is what you can get into it. ♪ [container door closing] what makes it an nx is what you can get out of it. ♪ introducing the first-ever lexus nx turbo and hybrid. once you go beyond utility there's no going back.
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you're with "bbc world news." i'm james menendez. more fighting so far. president poroshenko will commence peace talks with ukraine, france and germany. more than 200 have died in the last few days while trying to cross the mediterranean. a survey by the u.s. chamber of commerce in china suggests more than half of foreign companies there believe they've been singled out by authorities. beijing has been embarking into a series of investigations into
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western businesses. our correspondent in beijing, martin, tell us a little more about this survey. what are foreign companies worried about? >> reporter: this is a very influential survey of almost 500 foreign companies operating in china. as you wear saying nearly half of them believe they're being singled out by these investigations carried out by authorities. in recent months for example we have seen the british pharmaceutical giant glaxosmithkline found guilty this month and a ship company received a record fine of a billion, almost a billion dollars. now, these companies believe -- not specifically these companies but generally speaking they believe they're being targeted by the authorities in order to favor chinese companies. what we are seeing is a souring of the business client for foreign firms operating in china. authorities here will say
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they're merely carrying out regulations. yes, foreign companies are falling from that and so are chinese companies. >> is there any evidence from the chinese government they've been specifically targeting foreign companyies? >> reporter: no. they will deny that accusation. what they will say, is yes some foreign companies have been caught up in corruption scandals where glaxosmithkline for example but they are applying across the board. i think the broader contacts is that we're seeing political nationalism on the rise in china. we have for example a war against western ideas in schools in the universities. i think some fear that this has been -- this is tipping over into the economy, if you like. one of the biggest concerns for foreign firms operating in china is protectionism. they believe perhaps china is putting its own companies first.
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again, that's something authorities would deny. what they will say is they've introduced new regulations just six years ago. it will take time. this is a learning curve, for things to smooth out. again, i was speaking to the chairman of the u.s. chamber of commerce. he said one of the big issues remains transparency. often foreign companies operating in china aren't clear exactly what the rules are and they want greater clarity on that front. >> many thanks live for us in bay beijing. britain, france and u.s. have suspended operations at their embassies in yemen due to the deteriorating security situation. they've all urged their citizens to leave immediately. the situation in yemen is extremely chaotic. >> reporter: since the rebels effectively took over the country they said they want to change the government set up a presidential council, want to
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disband the parliament and freeze the constitution. this has plunged the country into deep turmoil and is threatening to blow up into a full-scale ethnic sectarian sort of confrontation. >> and dangerous enough then for the embassies to move their staff out and ask them to leave the country. how many people are we talking about? is it all staff or non-essential staff? >> reporter: the embassies of the united states, britain and france have closed and have started to send back their staff. they've given their local staff leave leave. the german embassy is thought to be in the process of doing the same. they've urged their nationals living in yemen to also leave the country as soon as they can. obviously, a lot of western nationals have been leaving since last week but supposed to be still a few hundred remaining. >> it doesn't bode well for the prospects of any kind of peace
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talks and negotiations given the international community was pretty heavily involved wasn't it, trying to create this transitional government and lead the country towards some sort of stability. >> reporter: yes. the united nations is response soaring talks between the rebels and their opponents. it's not going very far because the opponents are saying they're trying to twist their arms in order to impose their plans to take over power. they are, from their side taking a very hard line and saying they want to reach some sort of resolution that suits them of course. they're sort of making some vague threats which yesterday the leader has made on television. >> yes. for a while, the want to take over the capital. they wanted better representation from the
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government. what do they want? >> they stormed the capital and last month they put the president under house arrest and forced the depositgovernment to resign and now taking over greater power. this is seen as a wider regional standoff between the shiite power, iran and the opponents in the gulf states especially saudi arabia. >> from bbc arabic there. the american comedian jon stewart announced he will step down from the legendary comedy program, "the daily show" this year. he took over as host in 1999 and since then the program has won many awards for its satirical take on society and politics and it became a leading source of news -- for news and analysis for viewers. to his audience he said i will have dinner on a school night
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with my family who i heard from multiple sources are lovely people. there's already been speculation and a few suggestions on social media what might stewart might do next. people have been tweeting # tweeting #jonstewart's nextjob and next president of the new york knicks and then the highly watch ed watched new year's eve party at time square. and joining me thanks very much for coming in. first, have we got any idea given his success on the"the daily show," very well paid as well, why was it time to step down? time to call it a day? >> 16 years at the hem oflm of a show like that is unusual. jon managed to keep the satire
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going and kept the huge audience interested. he managed to get the young audience interested in politics. that's what most news programs are lacking these days in any country, let's be honest. >> he had huge -- it didn't get as big a ratings as some news networks but he had huge influence. >> reporter: he had massive influence. 2.2 million viewers a night. his influence is huge. he likes to mix politics your everyday chat about the american health care system or even terrorism and he put in a joke about maybe one direction being part of a massive terrorist super group. he got into trouble for that one. he was massively influential in what people talked about and what they took away from what he said and the questions he asked of people in power. >> he was funny. it was comedy. it wasn't a news program, was it? >> it depends on what you decide to call a news program. >> if he wasn't making people
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laugh i guess he wouldn't have been a success? >> exactly. he wouldn't have lasted 16 years. he has directed a movie recently. he could go into that side of things or if he's feeling friskskifrisk ski y, he could go into politics himself. >> he was also highly trusted by the audience to deliver things straight. talking about trust, let's talk about brian williams of nbc. he's been suspended for six months. >> he has indeed over a story he told time and time again about a trip he took in iraq where he was shot down or his helicopter i should say, was shot down by an hp an rpg, grenade. unfortunately he had to confess it wasn't true after a number of veterans that traveled with him started to question his story. he's been suspended for six month now and also what's even more worrying a natural of his other stories are starting to be questioned in the media as well.
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>> we shouldn't underestimate for people who don't watch nbc news, he is perhaps the most famous journalist in america. >> he is huge. american host anchors, they are the news essentially. they are the ones that decide what will be talked about that day. he is huge. his daughter as well allison williams you may know from a hit show, so his family and opinions massively massive. >> i think jon stewart had something to say about it. i don't know whether you saw that. at least someone's actually telling the truth about the iraq war anyway at the very last making very barbed comments. >> why not? he still has time to go. we don't know whether he's going straight away in july or december. he will be stepping down. the hunt goes down for not only his next job but his replacement and at this point i would like to say i am available. >> good luck with that. bbc radio 1 news beat program
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there. sandstorms reaching 100 kilometers an hour is reaching disruption across the middle east. egift egypt temporarily closed two of its seaports and two have been damaged and flights have been grounded. here's a flavor of the weather in windswept jerusalem from the bbc's whensomerville. >> reporter: in jerusalem, winds are gusting up to 100 kilometers per hour reducing visibility in israel. seaports are closed and waves crashing out to 12 meters high. airports had to close in some parts of the country. here towards the occupied territories to bethlehem over there, you can see the visibility is really reduced.
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and a kilometer in some areas. that dust is coming all the way from the sahara, that guyiant cloud is affecting jordan and israel and affecting syria and lebanon lebanon. people have been told to stay indoor, close their windows, not to do any sports, especially elderly with breathing problems. we are expect k this dust storm will continuing for about 24 hours. the bad news from meteorologists in israel it will then be followed followed -- >> and through his microphone you could hear the wind strength. take a look at this. a hand glider who crashed in sidney and had to be rescued. the woman was left dangling from the rock face some 20 meters above the beach. specialist teams had to go down
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to save her and she was then lowered to the ground where medics declared her amazingly injury-free. a very lucky escape indeed. do stay with us here on the bbc. for the moment bye-bye. see you soon.
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hello, you're watching gmt on bbc world news. i'm david eaves. our top stories, sending young men to syria to fight in the middle east sending a verdict on 46 accused. the leader of the group, sharia sharia4belgium is sentenced to 12 years in one of europe's biggest cases. we'll be looking at the effect of such groups and what can be done to stop them. >> some are youngsters and not only my son but hundreds of

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